Things to Do: Sherwood Forest Plantation

Sherwood Forest Plantation was the home of the 10th U.S. President John Tyler from 1842 until his death in 1862. Sherwood Forest Plantation has been the continuous residence of the Tyler family since the President purchased it in 1842. Known to be the longest frame house in America, it is over 300 feet long. Sherwood Forest Plantation reflects the lifestyle of this mid-19th century Presidential family. Beautifully wooded landscape and 12 dependencies surround President Tyler’s home.


John Tyler was the first vice president to ascend to the presidency upon the death of 9th President, William Henry Harrison.

The plantation, first recorded in a 1616 land grant, was originally known as Smith’s Hundred. The house, circa 1720, is a classic example of Virginia Tidewater design: big house, little house, colonnade, and kitchen. It had several owners before Tyler purchased the home and its surrounding 1,600 acres in 1842. He bought the plantation from his cousin, Collier Minge, while he was still in the White House and renamed the plantation “Sherwood Forest” referring to his reputation as a political outlaw.

The Tyler family has owned the plantation ever since, and it was the President’s grandson and his wife, who still live at the plantation today. Their children and grandchildren frequently are seen at the Plantation.

Sherwood Forest Plantation remains the longest frame house in America — expanded to its present length of over 300 feet in 1845 when Tyler added a 68-foot ballroom catering to the popular dance of his time, the Virginia Reel. The grounds are 25 acres of terraced gardens and lawn based on the landscape designs of Andrew Jackson Downing of New York and include original outbuildings or dependencies. It is considered one of the most complete plantation yards left in America, dating from c. 1680.

Click HERE for a virtual tour

Sherwood Forest Plantation State Rt. 5, 14501 John Tyler Highway, Charles City, VA. 804-829-5377.

30 minutes from Williamsburg and 45 minutes from Richmond.                                                 3 miles west of the courthouse in Charles City County – Tyler Country.

Open 9:00 am-5:00 pm daily.

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